January Newsletter - What a difference (so far!) between last winter and this winter. Maybe you snow bunnies haven’t enjoyed the relatively snowless winter, but personally, we’re happy seeing a little less of the white stuff this year. December was practically balmy, and while January seems a little more “Chicago-like”, we are not complaining. Of course who’s to say what February will bring, but we’re taking it one day at a time!
We hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. We were so happy to have all four boys home for a few days and enjoyed spending some quality family time together. And now that the holidays are over we are thinking about spring (it’s never too early to think about spring). Scott has been putting together the list of seeds to order, and going through the remainder of last year’s inventory. We’ve been reviewing last year’s harvest spreadsheets and field layouts, figuring out where to plant everything this year so we can give the soil the most help in maintaining and boosting its nutrients. We are also devising better ways to work with Mother Nature in the event of a prolonged winter or cold and too rainy spring – one of the issues we dealt with last year. So we will be starting a lot more seeds in the hoop house (greenhouse) so we can plant established seedlings in the fields instead of seeding directly into the field.
We are also paying close attention to the vegetable varieties that did not produce last year and researching better ways to get a good harvest this year. Brussels sprouts, melons, Napa cabbage, radicchio and celery are a few of those that we are working to make abundant this year. We are also looking at some new veggies to plant such as sunchokes, new carrot and pepper varieties, as well as several different varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers and melons. Needless to say we are already looking forward to being out doors again to play in the dirt.
If you’ve signed up and not received a personal confirmation…
For the last six months or so we’ve had an issue with some CSA membership signups going directly into my spam box instead of my inbox. I’ve gotten in the habit of checking my spam, but when I’m out of town for a couple of days and come back to over 1,000 emails in spam, I haven’t checked everything carefully before clearing out the junk mail. So, if you have signed up and NOT received an email confirmation from me personally (not the automatic one that is sent upon sign up), then please let me know. We don’t want to miss anyone!
If you haven’t signed up yet but are planning to join us again this season, we’d like to encourage you to sign up soon. Obviously it is a great help to us to fill the membership as soon as possible, but it’s also an advantage to you if you’d prefer to make monthly payments. And if you have signed up and haven’t made a payment lately, we do ask that you make some kind of payment every month. Your CSA payments are what enables us to buy our seeds and put money into maintaining our equipment and getting it ready for spring.
Most of you have heard us say that marketing is the most dreaded part of the CSA business, so the sooner we get it over with, the sooner we can turn all our attention to growing the best crops possible for you. On that note, it is our hope that you feel fortunate to have the benefit of having a direct relationship with your farmer and knowledge of what you are feeding your family, as well as the peace of mind that your vegetables are “that” good. As a courtesy to others you know, please pass the word about our CSA. If you work locally and would like some brochures to put in your workplace lunchroom or bulletin board, please let me know and I will be happy to mail you some!
Thank you to all our returning members and new members for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you in the spring!
Farmer Scott & Kathy
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes virtually the community's farm. The farmers and the consumers provide mutual support by sharing the risks and benefits of food production.
Typically, members or "shareholders" of the farm pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production as well as being environmentally sensitive. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests.
By direct sales to community members who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, farmers receive a fairer price for their crops, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing. By purchasing produce directly from the farmer, crops won't be compromised by third party merchandising.
"I subscribe to Green Earth Farm each year because I love the fresh produce, but it's much more than that. There is a sense of community in connecting to Scott and Kathy and their family, along with the other subscribers. I look forward to picking up the weekly box of produce, for the food, yes, but also for the chance to catch up with my friends. And knowing where my food comes from, feeling that connection to a specific plot of land, and lessening my demands on the earth, are very satisfying." - Greg
"Green Earth Farm is a wonderful CSA to be a part of. I have been a member for going on 3 years now and I love it!! The farmers are great people who truly love what they do and it shows in the vegetables they provide. Their farm is SO family friendly as they allow me and my son to stay as long as we like and pick raspberries off the bushes (more make it into our bellies than the baskets!!), feed the goats and horses and say hello to their resident pig, 'Charlotte'. Green Earth Farm has it all...awesome veggies, herbs and fruit and friendly farmers that know you by name. What could be better?!?" - Meredith
"I am returning to this CSA for the fourth year because I love the vegetables and the fact that they are organically grown. The boxes are generously filled and it is a blast to go each week to find out what fresh ingredients I will be cooking with for the next several days. I have never gotten something too ripe and so I never have to use something before I'm ready. If you don't know what to do with something, the farmers are happy to share preparation tips and recipes with you. It is great to be able to talk to the people who raise your food!" - Kim
"We are so excited to be back for the 2012 season. The boys are very excited to come to the farm again. You and Scott make the whole CSA experience so enjoyable for our entire family. Our boys have learned so much from coming out to the farm each week. We are truly grateful for all you do." - Laura